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Staying positive with online learning

I’m sure we can all agree that lockdown sucks. I’m going to be really honest with you, studying during a lockdown also sucks. It’s a challenge that no one could have predicted.

Despite these being really tough circumstances, we are somehow making all of this work. When we, as current students, found out we’d be carrying out our studies online, there were a lot of mixed emotions. Relief that we didn’t have to put our studies and our lives on hold. Sadness that we wouldn’t be able to see our friends and tutors. Stress because we’d be balancing a new way of learning with the pressure that lockdown has brought.

For many, it hasn’t been an easy adjustment in getting used to online learning. Some of us aren’t fond of this learning style, and some of us prefer it. Personally, I’m a mixture of both: I hate not having person-to-person contact and the structure that in-person lectures give my days. However, I love sitting in my pjs, wrapped up in my favourite blanket with a cup of coffee while in my lectures and seminars!

One of my biggest worries was my ability to complete assignments while battling a chronic illness, poor mental health, dyslexia and being in lockdown. I still worry about this, despite having done online learning for almost eight months. Brighton University, in my opinion, has handled the switch amazingly. They have done so much to ensure no student is at a disadvantage, including offering laptop hire/funding, encouraging staff to record their lectures and introducing grade benchmarking. The staff have been incredible and supportive throughout this entire ordeal and have made time for us students and put a great deal of effort into making the adjustment as smooth as possible (thank you guys!). All of these actions have really helped in taking some of the pressure away and have made studying during a lockdown much easier.

The biggest struggle I’ve encountered during this time is organisation and motivation. This is something that I am still finding difficult and have not personally found a solution (tips are welcome). You lose track of time and miss lectures and seminars. You forget what day you’re on and realize you have a deadline in a week that you’re not prepared for. It’s hard to study during this time and everyone is finding at least one aspect of online learning difficult but that’s okay.

For the moment, we have all had to accept what this time means and how our daily lives have had to change. University is no different; we have had to accept not being able to see our friends or attending our classes on campus. If you’re thinking of applying to university, please do not be deterred. No matter how much a person is struggling, we are all making this work and making the most of a bad situation; it is possible.

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Rachel Bulman • 20th November 2020


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